How to Stick to Your New Years Resolutions

How to Stick to Your New Years Resolutions

As the New Year unfolds, many embrace the tradition of setting resolutions. This moment of hope and commitment to self-improvement is energizing, yet the true challenge lies not in making these resolutions but in maintaining them. While January often starts with a burst of enthusiasm, maintaining that momentum can be challenging. So, how can we ensure our New Year's resolutions extend beyond the first month? Let's explore some effective strategies.

Understanding Why Resolutions Fail

To find success, it's crucial to understand why resolutions often falter. Common pitfalls include setting unrealistic goals, lacking a clear plan, insufficient motivation, and failing to track progress. Overcoming these challenges is the first step towards lasting change.

Set Realistic and Specific Goals

Specificity in goal setting is vital. Rather than a vague aspiration like "I want to get fit," aim for a tangible, achievable objective like "I will attend three fitness classes per week." Realistic goals are less intimidating and more attainable, fostering steady and sustainable progress. 

On top of keeping things concise, it is important to keep your goals realistic in the sense of achievability too. Don’t think you will be able to workout every day of the week for 52 weeks straight. If you aim for 5 days instead, then each day you “fail” can become part of the original plan, meaning you don’t break your winning momentum.

Focus on Building Habits

Sometimes, specific goals may not be the right approach and introduce extra stress to the mix. Transforming a resolution into a habit is another key to long-term success. For example, if you aim to read more, start by integrating reading into your daily routine, perhaps before bed or during your morning coffee.

Habits take time to form, so be patient with yourself and prioritize consistency. The good thing  about habits is that you can take tiny steps, as long as you take them consistently. Be sure to keep your habit momentum going and do not allow any breaks in your streak that are longer than one day. If you take more than one day off, your habit momentum will have turned into “not doing the thing” momentum. And that’s the nail in the coffin for many-a-habit.

Find Your 'Why'

Your motivation should stem from a deep, personal place. What drives you to achieve this goal? Whether it's health, personal growth, or a lifelong dream, keeping your 'why' in mind will fuel your determination. Are you getting away from something? Or drawn towards something? If the vision of your ‘why’ is clear, you can conjure it and use it as your north star when things get overwhelming.

Track and Celebrate Progress

Monitor your progress through a journal or an app. Celebrate every small step forward; these cumulative victories are crucial for maintaining momentum. Recognizing your progress reinforces your motivation. For example, certain things you’d normally like to do on the weekends could be set as a reward for certain achievements during the week. On a smaller scale this can work on individual days too, with some unwinding before bed (if deserved). If you can find the discipline to only allow yourself to indulge when you achieve certain goals, the goals will come easier and the rewards feel that much better. 

Build a Support System

Share your goals with friends or family. Better yet, align with someone who has a similar resolution. Mutual accountability and support can significantly boost your motivation and commitment. Few things promote productivity more than an accountability buddy, especially if they are following the same goals as you.

Flexibility is Key

Life is unpredictable, so be ready to adapt your goals as needed. Flexibility allows you to stay on course even when circumstances shift. 

Moreover, as the year progresses, you might find that your initial goals no longer align with your current situation or interests. It's perfectly okay to reassess and alter your resolutions. The true objective of a New Year's resolution is self-improvement, and if your understanding of what that means for you changes, your goals should adapt accordingly.

In conclusion

New Year's resolutions are about growth and improvement, not rigid rules. By setting realistic goals, focusing on habit formation, staying motivated, tracking progress, seeking support, and remaining flexible, your resolutions can evolve from fleeting January wishes to enduring lifestyle changes. Here's to a year of meaningful and lasting transformations! 🥂

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